Goodbye, Rip Torn

Rip Torn’s portrayal of Patches O’Houlihan in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story was the funniest thing I had ever seen back in 2004.

To this day, when the going gets rough, my father and I often remind each other, “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!”

In the next few days I’ll re-watch Dodgeball, The Beastmaster and, God forgive me, Freddy Got Fingered.

NOTE: before anybody writes me an angry letter about Freddy Got Fingered, the film is supposed to be terrible. Bad. Not good. Unwatchable. Offensive. Sick. Twisted. Weird. Absurd. Does not work or play well with others. That is the point. The film’s humor stems from the fact that some studio handed Tom Green cash to literally throw away is the actual comedy. The film itself is the joke. The gross-out on-screen hijinx is only there to confound unwary viewers.

Thank’s for the laughs, Rip. Godspeed.

The Work

Fred P. writes:

I learned frailing banjo from your videos and have been a follower for many years and actually I have attained a skill level that can be described as  “functional.”  My wife ( fiddler) and I volunteer to play at Assisted Living or Nursing Home facilities.  As you know for various reasons many of these folks are in poor condition.  Some of them to the point of what I call comatose with no recognition that we are even in the room.  Yet occasionally when we begin to play a foot will tap in time or a bit of hand motion.  Yesterday a very young man who never shows any signs of awareness at all began to clap to our playing of “Arkansas Traveler.”  An amazing testimony of the power of music and to your mission to bring the music to everybody.  If not for your videos and encouragement this young man in Wisconsin would not have experienced that moment of enjoyment.  So take a moment and feel good about yourself and your work.  Yes I know it was a fiddle tune, but I learned  it from the How and Tao many years ago.
Thank you and keep up the good work,

Fred P.


The book-in-progress finally has a title, and work is quickly drawing to a close.

I will be offline for a good portion of next week getting the final draft out. I am making a lot of progress, but neuropathy pain and migraines do slow me down.

When the book is finished we will post information about the finished work, along with a URL for patrons to download a copy.

Good Movie Day: Killer Klowns From Outer Space

The Internet has, for the most part, made art predictable. Movies are either Disney cookie cutter nonsense, or have been so spoiled that we know everything about the plot before we see the film.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space is still weird and surprising over thirty years since its release. It’s a cheesy 80’s horror flick, but the creature design is top-notch and the monsters are never over-explained. It works on more levels than you would expect from a movie about aliens that look like clowns.

Keep an eye out for the invisible car scene, as it is being driven by my banjo-playing friend Mike Martinez!

Finishing Up

Although events of the past year have made progress incredibly difficult, I am close to finishing my latest book.

I will be putting The Daily Frail, The Banjo Dojo and my other projects on hold for the next week so that I can focus on getting the final draft to Dear Old Dad for editing.

Miss Trudy’s Handmade Gifts

Miss Trudy’s Handmade Sewing Chatelaine

The history of the chatelaine is that it was once a collection of tools and household accessories worn by the lady of the house. Each of Miss Trudy’s chatelaines features a mini quilt front with a felt piece for needles and pins and a pocket for holding thread, thimble and other small sewing notions.The pocket is fastened closed by two hand sewn snaps. One end of a length of ribbon is sewn to the center back.The opposite end of ribbon is folded over onto itself with a snap fastener. Scissors are held by inserting the ribbon through one handle of the scissors and fastening the snap closed. The mini quilt front of each chatelaine features a hand pieced quilt block pattern or one of many vintage embroidered characters or a picture from fabric. All chatelaine fronts are hand quilted. Scissors and notions are not included allowing you to individualize each chatelaine with your favorite sewing items. These chatelaines are appropriate for quilting, cross stitch, applique, embroidery, and general sewing. Each comes with a smile and a prayer for happy stitching from Miss Trudy.

Chatelaines are priced at $30.00 each plus Priority Mail shipping.

We have chatelaines available for immediate shipment!

Visit Miss Trudy’s Online Store for more information!

Bad Movie Day: Horror Express

Another accidental gem of a B movie with an outstanding cast. Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Telly Savalas star in this absurd horror/science fiction mashup.

The plot is straight out of Doctor Who. A monster is found frozen in the ice, gets loaded on a train, thaws out and starts sucking on brains. Like most films of this sort from the 1970’s, we have model trains, a soundtrack with weird whistling and Telly Savalas shows up at a random point dressed like a Cossack.

The crazy thing about this movie is that is manages to be a lot of fun.